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Working With GoodNotes To Improve Their Product - UX Project Learning Reflection

Working With GoodNotes To Improve Their Product - UX Project Learning Reflection

Hey friend,

Recently I joined a six week UX Bootcamp organized by H Academy Three weeks ago, I wrote an article about three learnings I got from it.

Previous reflection: My Experience Design Learning Journey (First Two Weeks)

Now we are entering the second phase of the course, pairing with a Tech startup for a real-world group project. At the end of the course (which is one week later), our team is expected to present the solution (backed up by our own research) to the client and a prototype to showcase our solution.

The timeline will be very tight. We all will have a roller-coaster rider during the coming week.

More On The Project - GoodNotes to improve their product

GoodNotes - A Cross-Device Note Taking App For Apple

Let me tell you more about our real-world project, Our team is paired with GoodNotes, a note-taking app that provides a handwritten experience on digital devices. Their target user is college student who prefers using iPad to write down their notes.

Users can annotate on PDF and write markup on top of PPT, search their handwriting, personalize and edit their template and share their notebook with multiple people within a single app. All the notebooks will sync across all the Apple devices.

What are we doing ? - Scope and Problem statement

Understanding the project's scope can help us set boundaries for our solution and narrow down the research process and question. At first, our team struggled with the scope and problem we planned to solve, as the initial scope was too ambiguous.

After a couple of user interviews and client calls, we re-align with our client (GoodNotes) and believe the following problem is worth exploring.

Problem Statement: How might we transform notes to study material that can be revised for current Goodnotes user who is in tertiary education

What I learn in these two weeks

🙅🏻‍♂️You ≠ User

Being a UX designer means I will need to learn from users actively. We will need to know who they are, their motivations, what frustrates them and what makes them happy to give us an informed sense of why and how they might use the product.

That is not as easy as we think, but it is worth doing.

During the project, I reached out to some of my friends and asked them how they use GoodNotes in their daily life. Some use it as a note-taking app, but we also have an impressive finding from one of the user,

One of my friends is using it for private tutoring. When her student wants to submit an essay for feedback, rather than using Google Docs and Microsoft words with auto-correct and grammar check features, she will use the share document feature in GoodNotes. The PDF import feature in GoodNotes also helps her import past-paper exercises and share them with her students.

“Knowing how people will use something is essential."—Donald Norman

It is also the first time our client has heard these use cases. And If we keep thinking we are the user, we will only see Goodnotes as a note-taking app.

⛏Dig Deeper During Interview

We sometimes touch the surface when doing user interviews. How to ask a follow-up question and get to the root of the problem, is what we want to and need to learn in the future.

🧠Different Ways of Working

Different people have different ways of working. Maybe I prefer using a video call for communication, while others might prefer Slack and Notion.

The thing I learned the most is, always find your counter-party and stakeholders' ways of working. Understand it first, then decide if you want to follow them, compromise or cope with them.

Have a great week ahead,


❤️ Favourite Things

TMK - Rap & Roll in Wan Chai

🍱 Restaurant -TMK - Rap & Roll. Another unique dining experience from Pirata Group. It is a temakaria and sake bar located in Wan Chai Star Street. For all the restaurants run by Pirata Group, it all has their no-brainer signature menu. You can enjoy their signature menu without breaking the buck

🖊 Marker For Post It Note -Milwaukee Inkzall Marker. An over-engineering marker for Jobsite and tradesman. It is a good choice for writing Post-It notes in design workshops, especially when we have numerous post-it notes and paper on the table. The anti-roll body design keeps the marker in the same places, even on the messiest table.

💡 Article -Productivity addiction: when we become obsessed with productivity Article about productivity addiction and how we can manage it. I used to have the same syndrome, stressing myself too much about productivity and achieving more. And also experience setbacks of it. Read and learn how to slow down your life.

Being “crazy busy” is a numbing strategy that allows us to avoid facing the truth of our lives.
Productivity addiction: when we become obsessed with productivity
It started as a measure of efficiency for the production of goods and services. Somehow, along the way, many of us have become addicted to productivity.

✍️ Quote of the week

Teaching may help someone’s life improve. True development helps an individual’s life change. How can you tell if that’s happened? The person you’ve invested in succeeds. Not only is that the greatest sign of transformation, it’s the greatest reward to a leader who develops people.

From Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 by John C. Maxwell

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